The evolution of the brain and hibernation.

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Lance Kennedy
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The evolution of the brain and hibernation.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:14 pm

There is no mammal that hibernated that has evolved a big brain. It appears that the food restriction of hibernation limits brain size, since it needs a lot of calories to fuel it. Among the primates (the group of mammals humans belong to) only the very smallest brained members, a couple of primitive lemurs, actually hibernate.

Large brained mammals tend to evolve in the tropics, where there is no need to hibernate and there is plenty of food. This helps to explain human evolution.

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Re: The evolution of the brain and hibernation.

Post by Gord » Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:39 am

That reminds me of squirrels.

Apparently, hibernating mammals lose brain connections. The arctic squirrel loses fewer and then regrows them.

If there's a connection to the lack of large-brained hibernating mammals, it might be due to the damage caused when they hibernate. Perhaps evolving a method of recreating the brain after hibernating has proven too difficult?
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Re: The evolution of the brain and hibernation.

Post by ElectricMonk » Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:59 am

Intelligence or a good sleep-in....

Tough call.